Compliment Sandwich

Compliment Sandwich – Have you ever had the pleasure of trying one?

SPOILER: They don’t taste good!

Compliment Sandwich, “When someone tries to ease the blow of a criticism by delivering it between two insincere compliments.”

The not so funny thing about compliment sandwiches is they were taught to managers at one time!

If you do this or know someone who does, STOP RIGHT NOW!

INSTEAD – Try these techniques:

1.) Sincerely congratulation your employee. Then frame what you would like to improve on in a way that they understand and WHY they should do it.

For example, Joe just landed another huge sale, he is due for a promotion soon, however his desk is a mess! His manager, Mike, thinks it doesn’t represent how great of an employee Joe actually is. The CEO is going to be walking around the office later in the week. Mike goes to Joe, and congratulates him on the huge sale.

OLD WAY (compliment sandwich):

Mike: “Wow, Joe! That is great, you are on fire”

Mike: “our desk is a nuclear hazard, clean it up for the love of god.”

Mike: “Good job on the sale!”


Mike: “Wow, Joe! That is great, you are on fire!”

Joe: “Thanks Mike, it feels great”


Mike: “The CEO will be touring our offices next week, I know you’re a great jpb, although he doesn’t see what I see, every day. What do you think he might think when he sees your desk?”

Joe: ”You know what, your right, I could probably clean it up a bit”

Mike: “I think that’s a great idea.”

2.) Ask the employee what they thought they did well. Sincerely acknowledge their feedback. Add some of your own POSITIVE feedback. Now ask them what they thought they could do better. After they reply, you can add anything else that you observed.

Employees can read right through a compliment sandwich, instead be sincere and speak from the heart.

Drew Patterson, MBA



17 classes, 4 units each, and a lot of happy brain cells.

MBA Graduation


It has been quite the journey getting my MBA at Cal State University East Bay.

I have had the privilege to study next to some very smart minds and I will miss them all. I have enjoyed every step of the way including the times when stress levels were high.

If I had to choose three of the best things about my MBA they would be:

  1. Diverse student base – CSUEB has a large international student base, I studied along individuals from Thailand, Taiwan, China, Russia, Germany, and many more countries across the world. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about other cultures and the friendships I developed.

  2. Actual consulting – In my undergraduate degree most, if not all of the projects were hypothetical and never saw the light of day. In the MBA we had real problems and implemented comprehensive strategies to fix them. This made the work not only more challenging but also more rewarding.

  3. Leadership / communication – I particularly enjoyed this the most. If you are a manager, how should you act? How do you communicate? How do others view you? How do you get people to do what you want? How do you engage? Mastering your communication skills requires a lot of practice.

It is definitely bittersweet that it is all over, but I am excited for the next chapter and the bright future ahead.

Drew Patterson, MBA